2020 changed the world rapidly, an industry in flux needs a beacon and the BFI is evolving to provide that direction. Our brief was to help the BFI drive that change, to co-create a powerful, collective purpose and set of culture drivers with their people. We worked with the BFI to define them in a mass-engagement project, involving almost all of their 500 employees, to help the BFI become an innovative, diverse and digital cultural organisation, offering unparalleled public access through their platforms with creative storytelling at the centre of everything they do.
A powerful collective purpose
We centred the purpose strategy around an observation that society needs stories and moving image brings those stories to life – helping us all see the world through different lenses so we can better understand each other. In that world, the BFI wants to stand for choice and for difference. To champion image in all its form, to keep moving image culture vibrant and help people get more out of it too – to ultimately, help bring people and communities closer together. The purpose statement itself captures the past, present and future commitments of the BFI in a way that speaks to and unites the different arms of the business whilst still being simple, catchy and meaningful to anyone from our 17-year-old cinema goer to the DCMS committee.
En masse co-creation
CEO, Ben Roberts, wanted every single employee to be able to contribute to and get behind the new culture drivers and purpose. So, we designed a set of en masse co-creation exercises, including an online survey completed by 432 employees, a four-day long online forum open to 163 Listening Group volunteers as well as 15 definition and try-on workshops. The co-creation didn’t stop there, we then did a series of validation, launch and activation sessions with all staff.
A strong set of culture drivers
We worked with the BFI to define a set of four culture drivers – like values but with a specific brief of really driving the shifts required to achieve the BFI’s target culture and help them become an innovative, highly diverse and digital organisation with creative storytelling at its heart; a place of real passion and fandom, where everyone can go confidently, think freely, share generously, and bring it together.
We captured everything in a Culture Handbook – a practical guide intended to inform and inspire employees by capturing ‘who we are’ and ‘how we do it’ in an easy-to-digest way that leads the reader through the strategy for the future. The handbook explains each strategic element and illustrates them with clear principles and examples on how we can all work together to bring the purpose and target culture to life.